Selkent

Selkent

Selkent is a bus company that was once a subsidiary of the Stagecoach Group under the names Stagecoach Selkent and Stagecoach London, but is now part of investment bank Macquarie Bank as part of the East London Bus Group. It principally operates services in the English capital city of London, under contract to the London Buses arm of Transport for London. Their legal name is South East London & Kent Bus Company Ltd.

The headquarters of Selkent is shared with their sister company in Ilford on Clements Road.

History

Selkent (South East London & Kent) was created in the early 1980s as one of London Transport's districts. Under the London Buses name, it became a subsidiary along with 11 others in 1988 with part of the district towards Central London becoming a subsidiary of its own under the name London Central. Selkent were the first among the London Buses subsidiaries to completely cease operation of the Routemaster within its subsidiary when route 36B was replaced in the early 1990s with its current route 136 on Leyland Titan B15s, which has since also ceased operation on mainstream London routes in favour of more modern buses with low floors for easier access.

Selkent and East London were acquired by the Stagecoach Group from state-owned London Buses when its subsidiaries were privatised in 1994. Their names disappeared from the sides of buses shortly after, as Stagecoach's corporate policy meant they had to show only Stagecoach logos. They were renamed Stagecoach Selkent and Stagecoach East London respectively. The corporate London Buses red/grey livery was replaced by allover red. Allover red was replaced in 2001 by red, two-tone blue and orange. The new name for Stagecoach Selkent and Stagecoach East London changed to Stagecoach in London in line with Stagecoach Group's bus operations across the country.

In 2006 Stagecoach agreed to sell its London operations to Australian investment bank Macquarie. Quickly the fleets both turned allover red again, but were given back their old logos, abeit in lower-case lettering rather than capitals. They are now part of Macquarie's East London Bus Group.

Garages

They have three bus garages.

Bromley

This garage holds 75 buses, and runs London bus routes 61, 208, 227, 246, 269, 314, 354 and school routes 630, 636, 637 and 638.

History

Bromley garage was opened by the London General Omnibus Company in April 1924. Built at a cost of £23,000, it was originally designed to house 60 buses, although the plan was to ultimately enlarge it to take an additional 40 when operations required it. Under an agreement reached between LGOC and Thomas Tilling, the garage was allocated to Tilling's use, along with Croydon and Lewisham, resulting in Tilling-type vehicles being the mainstay of the fleet until 1949, when the final petrol-engined STL-type double deckers were finally superseded. This was made possible by the hire of 17 AEC Regents from Leeds City Transport. Between 1972 and 1979, Daimler Fleetlines joined the RTs, running alongside them. Routemasters were not introduced to Bromley until 1975, but were soon replaced in 1984 by Leyland Titans. With regards to single deckers, Bromley first housed RFs, arriving in 1952, which were gradually replaced by MB and SMS type vehicles between 1968 and 1971. FS type minibuses were operated from 1972 until the BS type replaced them in 1976. These were in turn replaced by BLs in 1978. In 1977, the venerable Leyland National replaced the last of the SMSs, and ran alongside the BLs until 1985, when Bromley became the domain of Nationals and Titans. In the early 1990s, Bromley became the home of Carlyle-bodied Dennis Darts (DT class) and MCW Metrorider/Optare MetroRider (MR/MRL class) midibuses. After the takeover by Stagecoach, the fleet at Bromley was standardised on the Dennis Trident and Dennis Dart. In slightly more recent years, a plot of land on the opposite side of the side road (Lower Gravel Road) was developed in to an open yard for storage of the larger number of generally longer, taller, wider vehicles required for today's operations.

Bromley garage is also the first garage to receive refurbishments to all of its Trident fleet. Currently 17280-17289 have been carried out. It is likely that the programme will be finished in summer 2008.

The Enviros will have seat material replaced with the new ELBG seating in October 2008.

Bus types in use

Catford

This garage holds 137 buses, and runs London bus routes 47, 54, 124, 136, 178, 199, 273, 356, 380, P4, 75, school routes 624, 658 and 660, Night routes N47 and N136.

History

Catford Garage was opened in 1914 by the LGOC, but was requisitioned a year later and did not re-open until 1920 when Thomas Tilling's Lewisham operation moved there due to space constraints at his other garage. Originally coded L, it was changed in 1924 to avoid confusion with Loughton. Thomas Tilling got an agreement in 1923 to double the size of Catford and to open a new garage in Bromley to cope with the new housing estates that were springing up around the area. The roof has had to be raised twice, first in 1930 to enable double deck buses to use the garage and again in 1948 to accommodate RTs. By 1954 TL was operating some 194 RTs, the last disappearing in 1978. TL has done considerably better than most garages in numbers over the years, especially since de-regulation, having an allocation of 122 buses in 1994 rising to around 160 in the early 2000s. The current allocation is around 140, predominantly low floor vehicles.

Bus types in use

Plumstead

This garage holds 162 buses, and runs London bus routes 96, 99, 122, 177, 291, 386, 472, 24-hour routes 53, school routes 625 and 672.

History

Plumstead is well sited to serve the growing area of Thamesmead, and was built in 1981 to replace the existing Plumstead and Abbey Wood garages and was intended to be called Thamesmead. Built to hold 185 buses at a cost of £6M, when opened in 1981 it had an allocation entirely made up of MCW Metropolitans, and by 1983 had changed entirely to Titans. PD has never quite reached its capacity, although in 2001 it had grown to 159 and today's allocation is creeping up towards the 180 with the introduction of Mercedes Artics for route 453.

Bus types in use

See also

External links

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